The family of Asma Rani, the medical student who was gunned down in Kohat in January 2018, has accepted a Jirga decision and pardoned the main accused in the high-profile murder case.
Both the parties had already reached a compromise that Mujahidullah Afridi will be pardoned by the family after a payment of Rs40 million but the formal Jirga in this regard was held in Sarai Norang, Lakki Marwat district on Sunday in which Mujahid’s family and other members went to the house of slain Asma Rani and sought their forgiveness as per the local tradition of ‘nanawati’.
Lakki Marwat is the home district of the slain girl’s family.
Talking on the occasion the father of Asma Rani, Ghulam Dastagir said that he had accepted the compromise after the payment of millions of rupees and his basic aim was to save his children from any further conflict because there were threats to his children after the conviction of Mujahid.
“My daughter was killed. I pursued the case and the main accused was convicted to death by the court. Now I fear for my family and children and that is why I have decided to pardon the accused which will end the hostilities between the two clans and families,” he said, adding that he made this decision after consultation with the elders of his Marwat clan.
Hundreds of family members of Mujahidullah Afridi reached the house of Asma Rani’s uncle Zar Badshah in Sarai Norang in the shape of a formal jira Sunday morning where they were received by Asma’s family.
The Marwat Quami Movement had already announced its boycott of the event on the ground that pardoning criminals like Mujahid will encourage others.
The movement also blamed that its elders who provided all out support to Asma’s family after the murder had also not been consulted before this important decision.
The family of Mujahid Afridi publicly accepted its mistake that Mujahid had committed a misdeed by killing an innocent girl which was against the local and religious traditions and therefore they seek pardon of her family.
On this, as per the local traditions, Mujahid was pardoned and the announcement was made in this regard.
Asma Rani, a third year MBBS student at Ayub Medical College, Abbotabad was shot dead in cold blood in January 2018 in Kohat after her family refused Mujahid’s marriage proposal.
The high-profile case attracted much attention and public outcry on social media after which the Supreme Court of Pakistan took notice of the murder.
Mujahid had fled to UAE and went into hiding there who was brought back via Interpol by the police and his trial continued for three years. The court had acquitted the co-accused in the murder.
There is a widespread criticism on social media on the pardoning of the accused by Asma’s family.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2021.
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